21 King Charles Drive, Portsmouth, RI 02871 — 401-683-5990
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy or “Endodontic “ treatment is necessary when the pulp of a tooth has become diseased. The root canal is a space located deep inside the tooth. Within the tooth, beneath the enamel and dentin layers, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and is primarily responsible for creating the hard tissue of a tooth during its development. Once a tooth is fully mature, however, it can survive without a pulp because the tooth continues to be nourished by the surrounding tissues.
Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes irreversibly inflamed or infected. This can have a variety of causes such as deep decay, trauma, or perhaps a crack in the tooth. If pulpal inflammation or infection is left untreated it can cause pain (“a toothache”) or lead to an abscess. Signs of pulpal damage can include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness to the nearby gums.
The goal of Endodontic treatment, essentially, is the removal of the inflamed or infected pulp tissue, the meticulous cleansing and shaping of the inside of the tooth (root canal), followed by the filling and sealing of this space. Afterwards, the tooth will often require a crown or other external restoration in order to protect and restore the tooth into full function again.
Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of a toothache caused by pulpal inflammation or infection.
With the use of today’s modern techniques and profound anesthetics, patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.